Windows-Help.NET Newsletter 20 Nov. 2004, Vol 7 No. 40

In this issue:

w   Bill Gates Sees an End to Passwords
w   Featured Software: Courier
w   Recent Support BBS Postings
w   Administrivia

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Bill Gates Sees an End to Passwords

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Speaking this week at the European IT Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates explained that the weakness of the password is a mayor issue in securing any identity system, with passwords being used today as the sole means of identifying who you are. But with increasing demand for more secure systems, and changing regulations, moving to biometric identification and particularly in moving to smart cards, is a way that is coming.

"One of the key elements for us is to have a smart card that really connects up in the best possible way to the Microsoft platform," Gates said. "Therefore, I am announcing today a .NET based smart card. We have a key partner here, Axalto who have done a super job on this. In fact, Microsoft itself will be using their smart cards internally and in all of our access to our premises. Each employee will have a smart card and will use the same smart card to get in and out of the buildings as we use to connect up to our machines."

"Over time, we will completely replace passwords, where even the internal access will be done through this smart card," Gates continued. "We are very excited to see our smart cards moving into the mainstream and connecting up to our infrastructure."

Smart cards are credit-card sized cards that contain a microchip to store data. Biometric technology uses people's unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, facial structure or other characteristics.

There is a simple reason why password based security systems need to be changed; people can't be trusted with passwords. Walk past a number of desks in a company, and you'll quickly get the point: an alarming number of PC's will have Post-It notes affixed to their monitors, noting the passwords used. People are also given so many passwords for different systems and accounts that they have to write them down, creating a security risk in the process.

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Courier - Internet Email for Windows "If you are a novice you will appreciate Courier's ease of use, simple installation and fantastic technical support. As a power-user, you'll love Courier's ability to handle just about any e-mail task you throw at it. If you are a network administrator the efficiency of copying just one file to back up all your data makes for stress-free backups. Topped off with superior security features Courier is a 'must have' app."
--Joe M, USA

More Info - Trial Version [4.29 MB]

Recent Support BBS Postings

WinXp SP2 Preinstallation Jitters & Questions - Windows XP
No Java with IE? - Internet Explorer
Wanted- Reliable Web Filtering for Kids - Security/Virus/Spyware
Ran out of letters to map to - Networking
Do cold cath lights need good ventilation? - Hardware


How to Use the Port Reporter Parser Tool in Security-Related Scenarios

This Microsoft Knowledge Base Article describes the usage of the Port Reporter Parser (PR-Parser) tool. PR-Parser is a tool that parses the logs that the Port Reporter service generates. The PR-Parser tool has many advanced features that can help you analyze the Port Reporter service log files. You can use the PR-Parser with the Port Reporter tool in a number of scenarios, including troubleshooting and security-related scenarios. This article focuses on how to use the PR-Parser tool in security-related scenarios.

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Denial of Service in Kerio Personal Firewall 4.0.0 through 4.1.1

eEye Digital Security has reported a vulnerability in Kerio Personal Firewall, which can be exploited by malicious people to cause a DoS (Denial of Service).

Kerio posted its own Security Advisory, advising people to update to version 4.1.2, which is not affected by the vulnerability.

Vulnerability in Skype could compromise system

A vulnerability has been reported in Skype, which can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user's system. Skype is software that allows you to call other people on their computers or phones.

Successful exploitation of the vulnerability may allow execution of arbitrary code. The vulnerability affects versions 1.0.*.95 through 1.0.*.98.

This vulnerability has been fixed in version of Skype.

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